Friday, August 18, 2017

For the Birds

You just can’t beat a yard that’s brimming with birds. It’s good for you, good for them, and good for ol’ planet Earth. Attract birds to your backyard by planting trees and shrubs that have the fruit, seeds, or berries they love. And if you want them to linger, be sure to include these, too:
  • Birdhouses. They attract bluebirds, chickadees, nuthatches, purple martins, swallows, woodpeckers, and more. You’ll find houses at bird-supply, discount, and hardware stores, and online.
  • Feeders. Even though you’ve planted bird-attracting trees and shrubs, having a few feeders in your yard will bring even more fine-feathered friends. Make sure there’s room for at least a dozen birds to perch at one time, and that the feeder holds enough seed so that you don’t have to refill it more than once a day.
  • Birdbaths. Birds will drink from just about anything when they’re thirsty. But to really make them happy, set up a birdbath that’s at or near ground level. Keep the water depth shallow to make birds will feel safe when using the birdbath. And look for baths that have multiple depths to attract a wider variety of birds.
To keep your birdbath in tip-top shape—so your feathered friends will keep flocking to it—add a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to the water when you refill it. Birds don’t seem to mind the taste, and it helps slow down fast-growing algae. Plus, it’ll help prevent “ring around the birdbath”—those white lines of dried minerals that form inside the basin as the water evaporates.

For more quick and easy ways to make your yard absolutely irresistible to birds, check out our bestselling book, Backyard Birdscaping Bonanza. And, you can even preview it FREE for 21 days!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Drought Dos and Don’ts

We all know that prolonged dry spells seem to be hitting more of the country every year, and this HOT summer is certainly driving that point home for lots of folks. So when a prolonged dry spell hits your neck of the woods, follow this plan of action (or in some cases, non-action) to help your lawn survive:

Spread the wealth. Give your lawn a bit of extra protection by applying another ½-inch layer of compost. (This should be in addition to the layer you applied in the spring.)

Hold the chow. Feeding your lawn during drought will only add to its stress level. And stressed-out grass is a sitting duck for pests, diseases, and weeds. So just sit tight.

Declare a truce. Speaking of pests, diseases, and weeds, if they do show up, just ignore them until cooler, wetter weather arrives. Believe it or not, engaging in battle now will only make things worse!

Keep watering. Continue your normal watering routine, if possible. And be sure to perform this chore early in the morning, so as little H2O as possible is lost to evaporation. Whatever you do, don’t water in the evening because grass that stays wet after dark—especially on a hot night—is fair prey for foul fungi.

For more terrific lawn tips, tricks, and tonics, check out our bestselling book, Green Grass Magic. It’s chock-full of our all-time favorite hints, helpers, and how-tos for growing the greenest grass in town. And, with our incredible Free Preview, you can try it out for a full 21 days—absolutely FREE!

Friday, August 04, 2017

Can’t Get Enough Cantaloupe!

A slice of fresh, juicy cantaloupe is a tasty summertime treat.  Nothing beats an ice-cold wedge of it for instant refreshment after a long, hot run, walk, or your daily workout. But the sweet flesh of this melon is a lot more than just good eating—it’s surprisingly low in calories and high in health benefits.  At just 48 fat-free calories per cup, and packed with beta-carotene, vitamins A and C, and potassium, it is one of nature’s best body-bolstering and cancer-battling foods around.

So how do you select the sweetest and juiciest of these mouthwatering melons? Here’s what to do:
  • Look for an evenly shaped melon, without dents, bruises, cuts, or discoloration.
  •  Check out the color of the skin under the netting—it should be glowing golden.
  •  Look for a melon that’s smooth and well-rounded at the stem end. Unlike other ripe melons, which have a bit of vine attached, ripe cantaloupes are free of the stem attachment.
  • Choose a melon that’s heavy for its size—the sign of juiciness.
  • Give it the sniff test—it should smell sweet, fresh, and fragrantly musky.
Want to discover more amazing health secrets and healing powers of delicious foods found right in your own kitchen? Check out our Giant Book of Kitchen Counter Cures—FREE for 21 days! And don’t forget to visit our website and sign up for our Free E-newsletter—you’ll get an exclusive special offer right off the bat!

Friday, July 28, 2017

The Great Paper Plate

We all know that when you’re feeding a crowd at a big cookout or hosting a backyard birthday party for your kids, paper plates can save you a whole lot of cleanup time. But that’s not the only way this disposable, inexpensive, and super sturdy helper can come to your aid. Here are a few more handy hacks you can perform with a paper plate that'll make your life easier, cleaner, and less stressful...

In the Garden

  • Say “adios” to ants. Whether the tiny rascals are traipsing into your house or making mischief at your barbecue, serve up ultra-safe ant bait on a paper plate. When the bait’s all gone, toss the plate into the compost bin, or bury it in the garden. You’ll solve your pest problem and improve your soil at the same time.
  • Make sticky traps for flying bugs. Poke a hole near the edge of the plate, and thread a piece of wire through it. Coat the paper surface with corn syrup or petroleum jelly, and hang the trap on or next to a plagued plant. Every few days, remove the bug-covered plate and replace it with a fresh one.
  • Make a quickie bird feeder. Use thumbtacks to attach heavy-duty paper plates to your wooden porch railing or other sheltered spot, and scatter a handful of black oil sunflower seeds in each one.

Around the House

  • Catch paint drips. Before you start painting a ceiling, poke a hole in a paper plate and push your brush handle through. Then you’ll be sure that the paint will dribble onto the plate and not on your head.
  • Cushion your china. When ceramic plates are stacked on a shelf, the bottom of one can scratch the surface of the plate below. To keep that from happening, put paper plates between them.
  • Stop the splatter. Before you whip up your favorite goodies with your electric mixer, poke the straight end of the whisks through a paper plate (face down), and attach them to your mixer as usual. The plate will catch all the mess, so cleanup will be a cinch!

For more trash-to-treasure tips, garden growin’ magic, and critter controls, check out our bestselling book, Supermarket Super Gardens. You can even try it out FREE for 21 days!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Goodbye Grass Stains!

Ahhh, summer! The flowers are blooming, the sun is shining, and the grass is oh-so green. Unfortunately, so are the stains that are ground into the knees of your kids' favorite clothes! Here’s a laundry-basket-full of cleaning tricks that are sure to mow down grass stains:
  • Pour rubbing alcohol onto the stain, and let it soak for an hour. Then rub the wet spot with a sponge that’s been dampened with more rubbing alcohol, using a circular motion to lift the dye out of the fibers. Next, rub in some liquid detergent with color-safe bleach.
  • Rub some Karo® syrup directly into the stain with your fingers, and let it sit for about 15 minutes.
  • Soak the spots in a small bowl of whole milk for about 15 minutes. Scrub it with an old toothbrush, and let it soak for another 15 minutes.
  • Mix 1 cup of laundry detergent, 1 cup of ammonia, and 2 cups of water in a handheld sprayer bottle. Apply this solution directly to the stained area before tossing the clothes into the wash.
No matter which trick you try, always wash the item ASAP. Don’t let it dry, or the stain could set back in. Don’t wash a grass-stained item before you treat it, or that green may never disappear. And whatever you do, don’t put the clothing in the dryer until you’re sure all of the green is gone.

For more stain-bustin’ secrets, check out our bestselling book, Speed Cleaning Secrets! It’s jam-packed with smart tips and fast tricks that’ll make any mess disappear in a flash. Visit our website to try it out FREE for a full 21 days! And don’t forget to sign up for our Free E-newsletter—you’ll be the very first to find out about new products and exclusive offers. Plus, first-time subscribers get a special discount right off the bat!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Deadheading Dos and Don’ts

This time of summer is a terrific time to clip off the heads of your early-blooming annuals, perennials, and flowering shrubs. The practice of deadheading will make your yard look neater and help the young plants send much-needed energy to the newer buds growing further down on the stems. Snipping off spent blossoms also keeps the plants strong, makes future blooms more spectacular, and prevents the plants from making any unwanted seedlings.

And if you’re worried that summer’s heat and humidity have gotten the best of your annual flowers, don’t give up on them yet. You can still enjoy several more weeks of blooms if you treat ‘em right—right now! Cut them back by about half, water them thoroughly, and then douse them with a shot of this Annual Pick-Me-Up Tonic. They’ll be back in bloom before you know it!

Here’s how to whip up a batch: 
  • Mix ¼ cup of beer, 1 tablespoon of clear corn syrup, 1 tablespoon of baby shampoo, 1 tablespoon of 15-30-15 plant food, and 1 gallon of water in a watering can.
  • Slowly dribble the solution onto the soil around all of your annuals.
  • Within two weeks, they’ll be real comeback kids—and you’ll get to enjoy their lush leaves and beautiful blooms right up until old Jack Frost makes a return appearance in mid-fall.

Looking for more ways to grow the most gorgeous garden in town? Just check out our bestselling book, Terrific Garden Tonics. It’s got all the motions, potions, and lotions you’ll need for the beautiful blooms you’ve been dreaming of. And, you can try it out FREE for 21 days!

Friday, July 07, 2017

4 Easy Ways to Ease Allergies

Between one lawn mowing and the next, huge amounts of pollen, dust, and dirt can blow onto your grass from who-knows-where. And, then when you mow, you get clobbered with a cloud of it right in your face! But don’t worry. Here are a few easy ways to ease your allergies on mowing day—and all summer long:

Mask your mug. Protect yourself by wearing an inexpensive face mask (available at any drugstore) every time you head outside to mow.
Shut ‘em up. Close your windows before you start mowing, and leave them closed for a few hours after the job is done. And this means all windows, not just those on the ground floor. 
Mow low. Keep your grass cut to a height less than 2 inches. 
Rely on shower power. As soon as you’re done mowing, hit the shower to shampoo and soap away all the pollen that’s clinging to your hair and skin.

For even more lawn-lovin’ tips, tricks, and tonics, check out our bestselling book, All-American Lawns. You can also try it FREE for 21 days by visiting our website. And make sure to sign up for our Free E-newsletter while you’re at it!